Defining and Measuring Regulatory Excellence
An International Expert Dialogue at the
University of Pennsylvania Law School
3501 Sansom Street · Silverman Hall Room 147
March 19-20, 2015
Defining Excellence: Thursday March 19
9:30-10:30 am: Continental Breakfast and Registration (Great Hall)
10:30 am: Welcome, Introductions, and Context-Setting (Silverman 147)
• Wendell Pritchett, Dean and Presidential Professor, Penn Law
• Jim Ellis, CEO, Alberta Energy Regulator
• Cary Coglianese, Director, Penn Program on Regulation, Penn Law
12:00-1:20 pm: Lunch: A Common Case Study (Gittis 213)
To provide everyone a common frame of reference for our discussions to follow, we will hear from a former regulator who worked to bring one of the largest industries under his agency’s regulatory authority. This common case will raise many of the issues we will be exploring: what defines regulatory excellence, and how does one measure it?
• “Tackling Tobacco: Lessons in Regulatory Leadership,” The Honorable Dr. David A. Kessler, former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
1:40 pm: Session 1: Regulatory Leadership and Accountability (Silverman 147)
As the lunch presentation will be open to the Penn Law community as well as participants in the Dialogue, we have asked Dr. Kessler to join us after lunch for a brief follow-on discussion in our dialogue group. This will afford us an intimate opportunity to exchange on some of the lessons presented at lunch.
Session 2: Defining the Regulator’s Mission (Silverman 147)
We start by asking: “Excellence at what?” Even when working in the same general regulatory field, different regulators may have differently defined missions. What defines a regulator’s mission? And what is a regulator to do when its general mission calls for it to address problems that, either because they are new or fall into gaps, are not precisely covered by existing policy directives?
Session 3: Attributes of Excellence: What Makes Some Regulators Better Than Others? (Silverman 147)
We next turn to the question of whether more generalizable attributes of excellence can be articulated that apply to regulators anywhere, regardless of differences in their particular missions. Should such attributes capture characteristics, actions, or outcomes?
5:30 pm Reception (Living Room, Inn at Penn, 3600 Sansom Street)
6:30 pm Dinner (Woodlands, Inn at Penn, 3600 Sansom Street)
• “Reflections on Regulatory Excellence,” Dame Deirdre Hutton, Chair, UK Civil Aviation Authority
Measuring Excellence: Friday March 20
8:30-9:00 am Breakfast (Great Hall)
9:00 am Session 4: Performance Metrics and Aggregation (Silverman 147)
It is not enough to define excellence. To know whether a regulator is moving closer toward excellence, measures are needed of the selected attributes. What are the qualities of appropriate metrics? How should performance on varied metrics be aggregated in assessing a regulator’s overall degree of excellence?
Session 5: Risk-Based Performance Management (Silverman 147)
How should taking account of risk affect judgments about regulators’ performance? What does it mean for a regulator to be “risk-based” and what implications does this have for performance management?
Lunch (Levy Conference Center - upstairs)
Session 6: Seeking Satisfaction or Substantive Results? (Silverman 147)
Some metrics of excellence might be related to decision-making or public engagement processes, while others will be focused on substantive outcomes. Some metrics might be operationalized using surveys of satisfaction (expert or the public), while others are based on independent, “objective” measures. Finally, some methods of measurement might simply take temperatures, while others will seek to attribute, causally, any changes in metrics to particular actions by the regulator. How should regulators confront these choices?
Conclusion: Bringing It All Together: Building a System of Regulatory Excellence (Silverman 147)
3:30 pm: Adjourn